Flammable and Combustible Liquid Storage Considerations

Storage Considerations


Maximum type and size of container allowed based on the liquid's hazard classification.

Maximum container size by hazard class

Container Type Class I-A Class I-B Class I-C Class II Class III-A – B
Glass1 1 pint (0.47L) 1 quart (0.94L) 1 gallon (3.79L) 1 gallon (3.79L) 1 gallon (3.79L)
Metal or listed, approved plastic 1 gallon (3.79L) 5 gallon (18.95L) 5 gallon (18.95L) 5 gallon (18.95L) 5 gallon (18.95L)
Approved plastic 0 gallon 0 gallon 0 gallon 0 gallon 5 gallon (18.95L)
Safety cans 2 gallon (7.58L) 2 gallon (7.58L) 2 gallon (7.58L) 5 gallon (18.95L) 5 gallon (18.95L)
Polyethylene 0 gallon 0 gallon 0 gallon 60 gallon (227.4L) 60 gallon (227.4L)
Metal drums For storage requirements: contact EHS representatives 60 gallon (227.4L) 60 gallon (227.4L)

1Exceptions may be made to this requirement for storage of Class I-A and I-B liquids when stored in orginal glass container from the manufacturer (i.e. A solvent bottle from Sigma Aldrich).  Quantity should not exceed 4L. 


A flammable liquid storage cabinet is an approved cabinet that has been designed and constructed to protect the contents from external fires. Storage cabinets are usually equipped with vents, which are plugged by the cabinet manufacturer. Venting is not required by any code or the local municipalities and may actually prevent the cabinet from protecting its contents. Therefore, vents should remain plugged at all times. Storage cabinets must also be conspicuously labeled “FLAMMABLE – KEEP FIRE AWAY”.


Use only those refrigerators that have been designed and manufactured for flammable liquid storage. Standard household refrigerators must not be used for flammable storage. Refrigerators must be prominently labeled as to whether or not they are suitable for flammable liquid storage.

Other Storage Considerations

  • Use approved containers
  • Quantities should be limited to the amount necessary for the work in progress.
  • No more than 10 gallons of flammable and combustible liquids, combined, should be stored outside of a flammable storage cabinet unless safety cans are used. When safety cans are used up to 25 gallons may be stored without using a flammable storage cabinet.
  • Storage of flammable liquids must not obstruct any exit.
  • Flammable liquids should be stored separately from strong oxidizers, shielded from direct sunlight, and away from heat sources.


Stanley Howell
Sr. Program Manager
Chemical Safety

Steve Elwood
Associate Director for Laboratory Safety